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Triad Board Hears SRO 3-Year Plan, Update On Electric Buses

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

Members of the Triad Board of Education heard a report at their June 24 meeting from Director of Business and Communications Mike Raymond about a 3-year school resource officer plan.

Goal 1 of the SRO and Safety Program, as outlined in a Power Point presentation, is hire a resource officer to support the district’s safety initiative in FY20, primarily at St. Jacob Elementary and Marine Elementary.

Officers will be required to maintain law enforcement certifications through retirement or employment at a police department, and be employed under a 180 day contract with approximate pay at $20 per hour.

Goal 2 would involve formulating a “school resource officer curriculum-based education plan” at the elementary level, and teaching ALICE, internet safety, anti-bullying and other courses as necessary, and leading the DARE program transition to 5th grade, with shorter lessons for grades 3 and 4.

Goal 3 would involve hiring a second Troy school resource officer to work at Silver Creek and C.A. Henning elementary schools, with SROs also focusing on student safety development, minimizing student misconduct, and maximizing student attendance and focus.

Board members took no immediate action on the proposal, although most generally seems to favor the idea, with questions pertaining to how the additional SROs would be funded.

Triad Superintendent Leigh Lewis said officials have been working to make it easier for districts to be able to fund more SROs.

The board received an update from Educational Services Director Kennan Fagan about an electric bus grant the district is seeking through the IL EPA Volkswagen grant program, “Driving a Cleaner Illinois.”

Fagan said they are working at getting bids, and are hopeful that they will be considered for a sizeable grant.

“The grant program will provide either 75 percent of the standard bus cost, or up to a maximum of $650,000 toward the purchase of the electric buses and infrastructure to support charging requirements,” his report to the board states. “We intended to maximize the grant funds and will seek to obtain the full program funding.”

The proposed project would replace three of the district’s 2009 or prior diesel buses with three “all-electric” buses from Motiv Power Systems. A charging station would be located at the administration building, partly because it has the electrical infrastructure to support it, Fagan said.

While the initial cost may be higher, especially without grant assistance, they are expected to costs less in the long run.

Two of the buses, which will be used to transport special education students, will have seat belts and air conditioning, while the third will not.

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